NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cohen & Steers, Inc. announced the addition of a leading commodities research and investment team to its New York headquarters. The four-member commodities team will join the firm effective Monday, April 8 to further expand Cohen & Steers' capabilities in real assets investing. "The expansion of our capabilities in commodities speaks to Cohen & Steers' long-term commitment to investment leadership in real assets strategies," said Martin Cohen, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Cohen & Steers. "Along with our market-leading real estate and listed infrastructure capabilities, we believe commodities are an important component of well-diversified investment portfolios." Nick Koutsoftas, senior vice president and portfolio manager will co-lead the firm's commodities team. Mr. Koutsoftas was previously senior vice president and co-portfolio manager at GE Asset Management ("GEAM"), as head of the Active Commodities strategy since its 2006 inception. He joined GEAM in 1999 and began his career at GE in 1995. Ben Ross, senior vice president and portfolio manager will co-lead the commodities team with Mr. Koutsoftas. Previously at GEAM, Mr. Ross was co-portfolio manager with Mr. Koutsoftas of the GE Active Commodities strategy since inception. Earlier, Mr. Ross was a Senior Trader at GEAM, leading the international equity trading desk. Before joining GE in 1996, he worked at State Street Bank & Trust. Brad Sanderson joins Cohen & Steers as a research analyst covering commodities. Previously he was a research analyst with GEAM. Prior to that Mr. Sanderson held research and investment banking roles with RBC Capital Markets, Longbow Research and KeyBanc Capital Markets. Michelle Butler joins Cohen & Steers as vice president and portfolio specialist. Michelle's deep knowledge of the commodities markets and the investment process enables her to serve as an important member of the commodities team with a focus on business development and client service. Prior to her 14 years with GEAM, she was with Bank of New York and UBS. "The addition of this team comes at a time when secular trends in real asset classes are driving some of the most exciting opportunities in the marketplace," said Robert Steers, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Cohen & Steers. "We are fortunate to be joined by four professionals of this caliber and experience. Their expertise, demonstrated by their long and successful track record using a fundamental approach, will enable us to offer world-class commodities futures strategies to investors." More information is available at cohenandsteers.com.